MADD Gets Mad Over Drunk Driving in GTA IV ...Calls for ESRB to Re-rate as Adults Only

April 30, 2008 -
Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) has issued a statement critical of the opportunites for virtual drunk driving in GTA IV:
Each year nearly 13,500 people die in drunk driving crashes and another half a million are injured in alcohol-related traffic crashes. This is why MADD is extremely disappointed by the decision of the manufacturers of the game Grand Theft Auto IV to include a game module where players have to drive drunk.

Drunk driving is not a game and it is not a joke. Drunk driving is a choice, a violent crime and it is also 100 percent preventable. MADD is calling on the Entertainment Software Ratings Board to reclassify Grand Theft Auto IV as an Adults Only game, a step up from the current rating of Mature and for the manufacturer to consider a stop in distribution – if not out of responsibility to society then out of respect for the millions of victims/survivors of drunk driving.


Re: MADD Gets Mad Over Drunk Driving in GTA IV ...Calls for ...

As stated by the previous commentor, a Mature rated game, means that its for mature individuals. The issue here, is not that GTA promotes drunk driving, in fact, had any of the MADD members attempted to play GTAIV while intoxicated, they would quickly realize how intensely difficult it is to get anything accomplished while in that state.


Alcohol Rehab Program

Re: MADD Gets Mad Over Drunk Driving in GTA IV ...Calls for

Oh dear.

GTA, while on the surface appears to be all about shooting random pedestrians, blowing up cars, and having sex with hookers, it does an obnoxiously good job at simulating real life. Keep in mind, it doesn't attempt to <i>actually</i> simulate life, but all the same, it does a pretty damn good job. Within the game you are confronted with many choices. Do I want to shoot the cop I see walking down the street? And, following up on that, do I want to deal with the <i>ramifications</i> associated with my choice? The same thought process holds true for real life. very little stands in your way if you have a weapon on your person, and have an inclination to shoot a cop. Most of us don't go around doing this. Because we understand the severity of our actions and accept the consequences that follow.

Now, transferring again, most of that argument remains constant for the in-game drinking sequences. There are a handful of times that going to a bar is required, and after each and every one, there is a reminder in the upper-left hand corner of the screen encouraging you to get a Taxi. Additionally if you do manage to stumble your way into a car, Nikko himself will say various one-liners, all some paraphrization "I shouldn't be driving when I'm hammered like this." <i>Also</i>, any comrades Nikko is with will say things regarding how risky it is to be driving. This is all not to mention the incredibly drunk-driving-sensitive cops, who will chase you down, even if you manage to stay within your lane.

Speaking of the driving, the game developers purposefully made it excruciatingly difficult to perform. MADD themselves stated that drunk driving is a choice. GTA also maintains this same belief, and actually discourages this act.

its called an off button

this is stupid, i got this game when it came out and played every aspect of it. why would any one be more concerned with drinking and driving on a game then with and the sex, drugs and killing. if any one has a problem with any thing on tv or a videos game, the thing has a device called an off switch. instead of bitching about what other people view appropriate or not, then turn the damn thing off. we all know alcohol and driving dont mix, but there will ALWAYS be someone who does it. yes its wrong but neither you or me or the guy next to us can the fact someones gonna do. but to complain about a game is stupid. get over your selves and feed your bullshit to the homeless.8a3ew

There is a choice

"MADD is extremely disappointed by the decision of the manufacturers of the game Grand Theft Auto IV to include a game module where players have to drive drunk."

Players do not "have to drive drunk." Personally i find the imagery of the character stumbling around and falling face fist into pavement hillarious. And furthermore, gamers have a choice. For example, i always take a cab home after i drink (in the game -- in real life i don't drink).

While i agree that drunk driving is no joke, this is just a game. In real life i would never shoot down another person, i would never date more than one person at a time, and i don't even drink in real life at all.

But this is a game, made for entertainment. And it is just that. Entertaining.

Re: MADD Gets Mad Over Drunk Driving in GTA IV ...Calls for

This is what Take Two should be going after, not the people who make legitimate videos of Grand Theft Auto IV on YouTube.

Join the YouTube Boycott! Avenge the suspension of PlayItBogart and the hacking of Armake21!

Join the YouTube Boycott! Avenge the suspension of PlayItBogart and the hacking of Armake21!

Woo! First comment!
Anyways, this is pretty dumb. These people assume that youth are easily brainwashed by anything they see in a video game.

In the movie, "The 40 Year Old Virgin," drunk driving was indeed a joke scene. That movie was "R" and the "M" rating is appropriate. But keep in mind what happens in that movie and the GTA IV. You crash the car. Simulated bad action has bad simulated consequences.

Please focus your energies and monies on REAL issues to save REAL people.

They do realize that while you can drive drunk, you also have the option of hailing a taxi right?

@ Vinzent

Thank you for clarifying, sir, seeing as i don't have the game, i wasn't sure of that.

This is just the same as the whole 'teaching kids there aren't any consequences' crap when it's built right there into the game engine to BE a consequence.

In the game, shooting cops = getting shot by cops.
In real life, shooting cops = getting shot by cops.

In the game, driving drunk = you're basically screwed.
In real life, driving drunk = you're basically screwed.

Rinse, lather, repeat. Common sense, dumbasses. Common freaking sense.

BTW, MADD's website does have a contact us button. Do your part to educate them, but please do it politely as their cause is worthy.

@ Tubatic

I’m hoping that there are enough level headed responses to this press release

Ahahahahahahahaha... oh.... you were serious weren't you...

@ Yuka Takeuchi Fan

Good to hear. From what you describe, it encourages people NOT to drive drunk.

I think what we need to do is to sit down all these people who think GTA IV will bring about the end of society and have them watch or even play the game.

[...] wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptMothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) has issued a statement critical of the opportunites for virtual drunk driving in GTA IV: Each year nearly 13,500 people die in drunk driving crashes and another half a million are injured in alcohol-related traffic crashes. This is why MADD is extremely disappointed by the decision of the manufacturers of the game Grand Theft Auto IV to include a game module where players have to drive drunk. [...]

Seriously people, start writing to MADD and politely explain to them that we, gamers, ARE NOT IDIOTS.

And so it begins- the drunk aspect of GTA4 was bound to create a new breed of moral panic.

I haven't reached the point of the game yet, but I hear drunk driving is highly ineffective. Would that not make it a deterrent? Also, making the game AO would only restrict it an extra year to 18. The age to even drink is 21 (in the states), so what's the point?

um, isn't GTAIV full of other violent crimes that are a choice? like, oh... FIRST DEGREE MURDER?

Yes, because giving people the option to drive drunk in a virtual car will make it more likely for them to do it in real life... oh wait.

Really, do all these people realize that they are giving this game more hype than any amount of commercials would ever buy?

It's official. the rush to criticize GTA IV can officiallyt be described as a cluster f***.

It's funny they mention choice... because it's a choice to play the game.

oh what the fuck

way to jump in the bangwagon.

DAM: Mothers Against Dyslexia

I believe this flash video says it all

I'll just say it.

Either start complaining about beer commercials and ads, which actually do glorify drinking,and I have seen them aired during cartoons, or shut the fuck up, now.

I once saw a guy get kicked in the balls. I didn't volenteer to be next. :D

"This is why MADD is extremely disappointed by the decision of the manufacturers of the game Grand Theft Auto IV to include a game module where players have to drive drunk."


When you stop lying about your statistics, we will take your opinions more seriously. Until then, you need to learn a little about honesty, not targetting videogames because they're popular, and doing the work you claim to be doing, instead of inspiring children to take up drinking at a younger age (kids are spiteful, deal with it.).

Sincerely, Austin Lewis

PS. When the person in the back of a van is drunk, it doesn't mean alcohol caused the incident. Just a tip for your journey for truth, instead of self-inflated stats.

by the way, they didnt have anything against drunk driving in "saints row".

What I have to say has been said before, and probably been said better.

Video games come under fire because they're the most interactive type of media in existence. In movies and books, the outcome is static, whereas in video games you choose your own path. This is why the older generation is afraid of these games; they're not static, they make the player THINK. I'll finish this thought later, my laptop's battery is running low.

@Zerodash, I got 3 police squad cars on me IMMEDIATELY when I entered my car while intoxicated in the game. They shot me dead after I refused their orders to get on the ground.

Yep. The game encourages drunk driving. Because surely getting killed by cops is encouraging the behavior they were shooting you for.

Seriously, if I was them, I'd be focusing on real drunk driving instead of dicking around with a videogame. I'm pretty sure pixels don't care if a pixel crashes into their pixel.

I knew it, I totally knew it.

Want drunk driving references to be AO in video games? Well movies should be NC-17 then, dammit.

Are you people moronic? I bet they believe you're rewarded for this action too...

...with points.

Y'know, just like how you're "rewarded" with cops when you commit crimes.

Funny moment I got into the car I got the cops after me, also I drove of the highway, loosing that Banshee sucked.

@Gen Man

if the know do you think they would tell it.

These people need to shut up because US citizens have the right to play whatever. If the consoles start allowing AO rated games on the system then I do not care as long as I can buy the game.

I hate misinformed people. AO is worse then NC-17 because you could only release it on PC, and you have to order directly from the factory. I am glad that they didn't say that you get points for drunk driving. If they did, then they are really pushing the stereotypes.

Is it just my imagination, or is MADD just trying to get back into the public view again? Cuz seriously... irrelevant?


"This is why MADD is extremely disappointed by the decision of the manufacturers of the game Grand Theft Auto IV to include a game module where players have to drive drunk."

"Have too?" I'm sorry, you HAVE too drive drunk in the game? Um... NO?!

As I recall, the effects of drunk driving are very debillitating in GTA 4. Your lack of control results in likely civillian deaths and pursuit by the police. I can't think of a better training model for children. Face it MADD, this tool will educate kids a lot better than your bumper stickers will.

Next time;
Whenever I drive a stolen 'expensive-as-fuck' vehicle with a hooker in my car, two cops and a helicopter on my tail, running over pedestrians, and doing drive-bys' with a semi-automatic all at once-

to never drink while I am driving, otherwise it might impair my chances of getting away...

thanks MADD!!! *Bangs head on desk*

- Incendently, I meant in GTA, not real life.

I knew we would expect every other special interest group to complain the second the game was released, but it doesn't make it any less annoying. Somebody call the Waaaahmbulance for MADD. :P

@ Zerodash
If it's anything like the previous games, then of course driving drunk in GTA IV is going to result in negative consequences. From what I understand, your vision is blurred and you can't control your car properly. That to me doesn't sound like fun. So in that respect, yes it could be a viewed as a deterrent. I think MADD should stop getting their panties in a wad about this at look at it from that perspective. It could be a more effective tool about teaching the dangers of DWI than any of their PR campaigns.

ive seen many movies that featured driving while under the infulence (pulp fiction comes to mind) and i don't recall madd demanding they be made nc-17 because of it. like comic books and rock n roll before it, video games are the new whipping boy for all of societies problems for the ignorant, stupid and unimformed

I find it funny that they mention the fact that Drunk Driving is a choice, and it's 100% preventable...but that also applies to the game, you aren't required to drive home drunk. You can hail a cab, walk, or even not get drunk at all!

The misinformation with all these outraged politicians, lawyers, and parent groups is astounding.
It would be like me posting here on GP that Tom Cruise authorized the invasion of Canada and enjoyed stomping on puppies. Then the very next day everyone would think it were fact cause "they heard it somewhere on teh internets".

"include a game module where players have to drive drunk."

I'm not that far in the game yet but is there ever a point where you are actually FORCED to drive drunk. The option to hop into cabs is always present which is something I think MADD would be stoked about. This is about as close to real life as you can get - so I'm assuming they would want to slap an AO sticker on reality itself.

Get drunk and drive in game - cops come after you. Take taxi home - it costs you money but you get there safely.

Absolutely verbatim in both GTA and reality...

It's just kind of a pity that Rockstar never even needed to pay for the Bus ads, the negative press riot of today is going to add another zero to their already enormous income from this game.

Yes, drunk driving is not a game. BUT GTAIV IS! Drunk driving isn't a movie either, or a book, it's an activity that can only be blamed on the person who is driving drunk.

although i dont have the game yet, from what i have read about the gameplay it appears that driving drunk in that game is not something that is forced onto the player, its a choice, just like in real life. and just like in real life, it has its consequences and the player is well aware of this one way or another.

I wouldn't jump down MADDs throats as much as people seem to be doing. MADD actually does some very good work in stopping people from driving drunk.

This is just another example of how the majority of people just attack games the second they hear that something might be offensive.

I've been thinking that this is actually GOOD for the industry. I mean, all this controversy has started most people to stop thinking of games as only for children. Even some mainstream news outlets are beginning to see the errors in blaming games for every (JT's value is dropping faster than the american dollar).

And of course, I had a discussion with my mother about this. She doesn't play games and is appalled that the media thinks she's stupid and will believe the drivel they pin on videogames. But it took her time to figure it out, the more the media spouts it, the more people are likely to scrutinize what they're saying.

"This is madness!"

"madness? no
THIS... IS... MADD!"
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